by Muriel Larson
Harold Sightler felt crushed, his faith dwindled to nothing. "I've served You faithfully, Lord. I've tried to live a good Christian life for Your glory. How could You have allowed this awful thing to happen?"
He had been out of state that week when the phone call came from his neighbor. "Come home, Harold," he said. "There's been a wreck."
"Is it bad?"
"Just hurry," the neighbor had urged, "and come to general hospital."
What's happened to my wife and children? he agonized as he sped down the highway. Why couldn't Frank tell me?
When he walked into emergency, he saw his baby daughter bruised, bleeding and crying—but still alive. Seeing his brother-in-law, he asked about his wife. Ed took him to the third floor, where he found his wife unconscious. Her upper teeth were knocked out. Her jaw was broken. But he thanked God she was alive. They could have told me this over the phone, he thought. What else couldn't they tell?
"Where's my other child?" he asked.
Taking him out of the room, the doctor told him, "Your child is dead." Harold couldn't believe it. Not his precious, happy little Carolyn. She couldn't be gone!
"When it finally dawned on me that this was true, I walked the halls of the hospital sobbing and crying," he said later. "That was when I began to doubt the goodness of God."
Doubts were followed by bitterness as the hospital bills for his wife began to mount up to an impossible sum. With no hospitalization, how could they ever pay this debt? Even though their church family felt led of God to help in this area, Harold was still filled with doubts and bitterness toward God. He was through serving the Lord!
Then an elderly minister friend came from a distance to visit him. "Harold," he said, "I've come to tell you something good about yourself."
"Man! If you know anything good about me," Harold said, "please tell me!"
"You can't sink any deeper," the man said. "Your next move is up."
Strangely enough, this simple message seemed to lift the heavy burden that had been on his heart. "Praise the Lord!" he exclaimed. And with that sincere praise came a renewed determination to serve Jesus, whether in life or in death.
After that Harold started the Tabernacle Baptist Church in Greenville SC. Under his leadership many people came to know the Lord and get right with Him. The church grew to a membership of over 2,000. In addition, he started the Tabernacle Children's Home, Tabernacle Christian School, and Tabernacle Bible College to prepare men and women for the Lord's service. Many of these have gone all over the world to bring the good news of Jesus Christ. Harold's radio broadcast has reached thousands through 53 stations in 20 states, and thousands of others came to Jesus Christ through innumerable "revivals" he conducted across the land.
"How glad I am that I didn't leave God's service when I went through my darkest valley," Harold said. "And how glad I am that a humble Christian heeded His voice and traveled from his state to mine when I needed encouragement most. Please let me encourage those who read this: When you go through a dark valley, trust in the Lord with all your heart. He'll bring you through to a glorious place where you'll be of even greater service to Him!"